Jaap van Zweden
(c) Hans Vanderwoerd/IMG

Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, will not conduct the orchestra again in 2021 after its request for a quarantine waiver was refused by the local authorities. He cancelled all the remaining concerts.

The Philharmonic and other performing arts groups in Hong Kong are struggling to attract guest performers from abroad now that other countries have opened up their borders, Hong Kong Phil General manager Benedikt Fohr told the South China Morning Post.

Fohr explained that Van Zweden had to fly back to Amsterdam from New York because a member of his family needed medical attention. And since the Netherlands are a high risk country for the Hong Kong government, he was unable to come to Hong Kong, Fohr said.

Ironically, the Dutch conductor is free to enter South Korea as a guest conductor without serving a coronavirus quarantine, but cannot enter Hong Kong without doing 21 days’ quarantine.

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